Mountainfilm on Tour

Mountainfilm on Tour



Join Durango Nature Studies for our 9th annual fall fun – raiser.

Place: Durango Arts Center
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2017

Mountainfilm on Tour is one of the premier adventure film festivals in the world.  Durango Nature Studies is thrilled to host Mountainfilm on Tour in Durango for the 9th consecutive year.  We will have three showings in 2017.  The matinee showing at 2:00 pm will be geared toward families, and then, there will be two general audience showings in the evening.  We will have a silent auction highlighting some great experiences, with bidding by proxy.

Mountainfilm On Tour Family Matinee
Time: Doors open at 1:30 PM; Show starts at 2:00 PM
Cost: $8 kids/$10 adults in advance: $10 kids/$13 adults at the door

Mountainfilm On Tour Early Showing
Time: Doors open at 4:30 PM; Show starts at 5:00 PM
Cost: Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, $10 students

Mountainfilm On Tour Late Showing
Time: Doors open at 8:00 PM; Show starts at 8:30 PM
Cost: Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, $10 students

Tickets are now available at Maria’s Bookshop and Backcountry Experience or at the DNS offices in the Smiley Building (Suite 27).


Films for the 5:00pm and 8:30pm Showings.

Denali’s Raven: Like a raven on an updraft, Leighan Falley soars above the glaciers and peaks of the Alaska Range with her daughter Skye strapped into the backseat of her de Havilland Beaver. Born of a desire to see more of the dramatic landscape and a need to supplement her career as a mountain guide, Falley now works as a commercial pilot in Talkeetna, Alaska. She comes from a long line of aviators and finds inspiration working with other women in the high alpine. Denali’s Raven is a glimpse into the life of an Alaskan pilot, skier, alpinist and mother.

Ascend: After being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Jon Wilson had his left leg fully amputated. The loss of a limb stopped the cancer, but it didn’t stop Wilson from enjoying his favorite pastime of mountain biking. This short film celebrates the indomitable spirit that keeps him zooming through singletrack. “If I don’t ride a bike, I will lose my mind. It’s because I need to find that spiritual place, that spiritual channel on the trail,” Wilson says. “The simple answer is that it brings me joy.”

My Irnik: In the Canadian Arctic, in the remote community of Kuujjuaq, a young father and mother are raising their irnik (son) with an emphasis on shared adventures, connection to the land, the heritage of dog sledding, learning from the environment and experiencing all that is the Far North — the dark rawness of the winter, the thaws of springtime, the seal soup of summer and the caribou hunting of the fall. My Irnikis about familial lines, ancestral culture, the generational transference of knowledge and the individual’s path to seek his or her own dreamscapes.

Das Fischer: Stylish flannel shirt? Check. Bottle of fine whiskey? Got it. Expensive flyrod? Purchased. Canvas tent complete with typewriter, fireplace, tiki torches and record player? Wait — this is getting ridiculous. Das Fischer is a short film by Ben Herndon that takes a wry look at the idealization of American masculinity and outdoor pursuits. It’ll make you think twice the next time you wear that flannel.

Where the Wild Things Play: Friday night at the local watering hole and … where the ladies at? Answer: BASE jumping from high desert cliffs, performing tricks on slacklines, climbing granite routes, shredding singletrack, skiing backcountry lines and generally leaving you fellas behind. This rowdy ode to female athletes by Krystle Wright leaves no doubt about the state of women in today’s outdoor world: badass.

John Shocklee: A Fairy Tale: He lived with his parents until he was 26, took a minimum-wage guide position at the age of 39, and at 52 still hasn’t landed what society would deem a real job. But refusing to grow up has worked out well for John Shocklee, who splits life between ski guiding at America’s rowdiest ski mountain, in Silverton, Colorado, and rowing dories down the ultimate river, The Grand Canyon. He lives in an alley shack, wears Teva sandals like they’re going out of style and doesn’t make much money. But he doesn’t want to. John Shocklee, A Fairy Tale taps into Shocklee’s fountain of youth. Hint: It involves mountains, snow and ’90s hip-hop.

Waking Dragons: In January of 2017, Telluride Helitrax was hired to do avalanche control work by dropping bombs on Ajax Peak, the iconic mountain that overlooks downtown Telluride, Colorado. Lucky for us, local filmmaker Brett Schreckengost was there to capture it from an airborne vantage. This short film is an ode to the beauty and power of the San Juan Mountains in winter.

Ditch the Van: Cellist, singer-songwriter and political activist Ben Sollee spent a lot of time on whirlwind tours, flying over and driving through America’s towns and cities. He was becoming burnt out, and his health was suffering. So he bought an Xtracycle cargo bike, strapped his cello to it and set off on a five-year, 5,000-mile journey. His Ditch the Van Tour brings hardships, like broken wheels, tornadoes, unfriendly motorists, and takes twice as long for half the money as a traditional tour. But it also offers meaningful experiences and a more human pace of life in a frantic world, allowing Sollee time to ponder the big questions, such as: What is worth sacrificing? And what story is he trying to tell?

Conservation Generation: “Young farmers” may seem like an oxymoron, but fortunately for all of us there’s a young generation committed to agriculture. On the frontlines of the battle for environmental sustainability in the face of climate change, the four farmers in Spencer MacDonald’s Conservation Generation are as devoted to a vocation that’s equal parts livelihood, lifestyle and sacred cause as they are clear-eyed about the challenges. While the National Young Farmers Coalition, which produced Conservation Generation, represents a broad movement, the focus here is on the specific problem of water scarcity in the arid Southwest. Two of the four are farming in northern New Mexico, and two are farming near Telluride, Colorado.  Special guest, Tyler Hoyt, will be available for a Q&A after this film.

The Time Travelers: In 2016, members of the U.S. Men’s Rafting team hatched an incredible challenge for themselves: to attempt to break the speed record for 277 miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon by rowing the entire stretch in only 34 hours. The Time Travelers follows their extraordinary mission, which entailed designing and building a 48-foot-long Millenial Falcon of rivercrafts, swapping out customary paddles for oars and training intensely for eight months until launch day in January 2017. What could have been a purely physical challenge turned into something much more: a lesson in camaraderie, perspective and the power of a wild river. In the hands of the team that made The Important Places (Mountainfilm 2015), it becomes an unforgettable story of adventure.

La Langosta: Most people would consider sending a 70-foot waterfall pretty epic. Not Rafa Ortiz, who decides to ditch the kayak for a pool toy.

Films for the 2:00 pm Family-Friendly Matinee (1 hour)

Ascend: see description above

The Perfect Flight: The perfect flight for a falcon is the one that yields a kill. And food. For falconer Shawn Hayes, the perfect flight arcs higher: It shares with others the love and awe he feels from partnering with a wild animal — sharing with kids, especially, to help keep them away from a life of trouble.

Lost in Light: This film is about how light pollution changes what you see. —Henry, age 13

Waking Dragons: see description above

My Irnik: see description above

The Pits: Love and companionship is what everybody is truly looking for in life, even avocados. The Pits follows two avocado halves as they roam the lonely city streets looking for love. This film e(pit)omizes what it means to find your other half. —Kitty, age 17

Hey Deer: Deer thinks he has all that he needs. And then he discovers himself, and everything changes. —Maia, age 13

Owl Dance-Off, Part IIOwl Dance-Off Part II is the much-anticipated follow-up to wildlife photographer Megan Lorenz’s award-winning internet sensation Owl Dance-Off.



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Gail Hanson













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